Vol. 6 No. 1, Fall 2014; Protecting the Sanctity of Family: An Argument for the Equitable Parent Doctrine
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This Comment examines the rights of men who held themselves out as a child’s father or who did not know they were the biological father with a focus on the equitable parent doctrine. Because the equitable parent doctrine has not been adopted in Illinois, the author proposes new legislation. The proposed legislation establishes factors to assist a court in determining when a man should be granted rights to a child with respect to two different scenarios: first, if he held himself out as the child’s father, but ultimately found out he was not the biological father, or second, if the man did not know he was the child’s father but found out he was the biological father after parentage had already been granted to a different man. The author then applies the proposed legislation to recent court decisions that established parentage to determine whether a more equitable result could have been reached. Lastly, this Comment briefly examines the effect the proposed legislation would have on child support.